Awakeaboutgmo's picture
I have read numerous articles and blogs about GMOs and I was wanting to know why the biotech companies will not allow a truly independant and transparent studynot funded by the biotech companies that will prove beyond any doubt that GMOs are safe?

A:Expert Answer

It is interesting that this myth about the lack of independent studies continues to get traction, since independent academic researchers are always doing research on biotech products and evaluating published studies through review articles.


For instance, from 2001 to 2010, more than 50 studies were conducted in Europe alone, funded by the European Commission (at a cost of >200 million euros) and performed by more than 400 independent research groups. These studies are summarized in “A Decade of EU-Funded GMO Research.” This report concluded that “biotechnology, and in particular GMOs, are not per se more risky than, e.g., conventional plant breeding technologies.”


Additionally, as my colleague John Vicini answered here:

“A 2012 literature review by Snell et al. provides a good summary of feeding studies with diets containing large amounts of GMO-derived ingredients (C. Snell et al., “Assessment of the health impact of GM plant diets in long-term and multigenerational animal feeding trials: a literature review,” Food Chem Toxicol. 50 (2012): 1134–48). This paper also includes a section specifically devoted to long-term studies and provides funding information for each of these studies. Independent scientists performed all of these studies, and most of the studies were independently funded as well. However, only 50% of the studies list the funding sources, so we can only verify that those studies were independently funded.”


Also, there are hundreds of independently funded studies that can be found at the BioFortified website. These are just a few examples of the independent studies that have been performed and can be accessed by anyone. You may also find that a blog post entitled “About Those Industry Funded GMO Studies…” addresses your question pretty well.

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Dominick Dickerson's picture

I'm fairly suspicious of this question. First off you have failed to mention under what parameters you want and experts to evaluate safety. Human health, biodiversity, ecosystem health? Which is it? You benefit no one by being vague.

There are many instances of independent research conducted on the safety of GMO crops.

As to your second point, you will never be able to have a study that proves anything, GMOs cellphones cars you name it as being safe "beyond any doubt". No one will. It can not be proven. This idea that things are ever proved safe or that this is an appropriate hypothesis shows that critics are lacking in their understanding of hypothesis formation in experimentation. With GMOs (as with everything) you can only demonstrate incidences and probabilities of potential harm. You can't test for safety you test for harm. And the evidence to date demonstrates GMO crops are no more harmful than traditional crops.